Heather Winters

BA, Sarah Lawrence College. Studied at University of London, School of Visual Arts. Executive producer/producer/director/writer. Two-time Sundance winning executive producer and director. Credits include: Super Size Me; TWO: The Story of Roman & Nyro; Anywhere, u.s.a.; Class Act; Convention; Google Me; Thundercats; SilverhawksThe Comic Strip; and MTV’s Real World. Select awards for projects include: 2014 HBO Hometown Hero Award; 2014 Best Documentary, Nashville Film Festival; 2009 Sarah Lawrence College Alumnae/i Citation for Achievement; 2009 Telly® Award; 2008 Special Jury Prize, Sundance Film Festival; 2006 Best Documentary, Rhode Island International Film Festival; 2006 Best Feature, Artivist Film Festival; 2004 Best Director, Sundance Film Festival; 2004 Academy Award® Nominee, Best Documentary; 2004 Telly® Award; 2003 Platinum Best in Show, AURORA Award; 2000 First Place, Chicago International Film Festival; 2000 Creative Excellence Award, US International Film and Video Festival. Founder, White Dock and Studio On Hudson production companies. SLC, 2011–

Current undergraduate courses

Producing for Filmmakers, Screenwriters, and Directors

Fall

Producers are credited on every film, television, and media project made. Producers are crucial—even seminal—to each and every production, no matter how big or small. Yet, even as a pivotal position in the creative and practical process of making a film, TV show, or media project, the title “Producer” is perhaps the least understood of all of the collaborators involved. What is a producer? This course answers and demystifies this question, examining what a producer actually does in the creation of screen-based media and the many hats that one—or a small army of producers—may wear at any given time. Students will explore the role of the producer in the filmmaking, television, and video process from the moment of creative inspiration through project delivery. A practical course in the ways and means of producing, the class will consider the current state of producing through nuts-and-bolts production software and exercises, verbal and written assignments, and industry guests currently working in film and television. Students will gain hands-on experience in developing projects, breaking them down into production elements, and crafting schedules and budgets. Course work includes logline, synopsis and treatment writing, script breakdown, budgeting and scheduling, pitching, and final project presentation of film, TV, or digital video projects. Conference projects may include producing a film or media project by a student in another filmmaking production class at SLC, case studies, development and preproduction of a proposed future film or video project, and the like. Designed to provide real-world producing guidance, the course offers filmmakers, screenwriters, and directors a window into the importance of, and the mechanics pertaining to, the producing discipline and a practical skill set for creating and seeking work in the filmmaking and media-making world after SLC.

Faculty
Related Cross-Discipline Paths

The Business of Film and Television

Spring

Building on Producing for Filmmakers, Screenwriters, and Directors, students expand their knowledge of the role of the producer in the realm of filmmaking, television, and digital video, especially as it relates to the ongoing creative process and the “show business” of producing. Diving deeper into the real-world application of the producer’s role and applying learned knowledge and skills, course work includes script coverage, optioning material, entertainment law, music licensing, best producing practices, traditional and innovative financing models, domestic and foreign film and television markets, daily industry trends, sizzle reel and trailer analysis, fine-tuning pitching skills, film marketing and publicity, examining the distribution process and release strategies, navigating the festival circuit, understanding the roles of lawyers, agents, managers, and sales agents, traversing relationships with directors and writers, producing dos and don’ts, and deciphering the intersection of art and commerce as it relates to both the business and the artistic elements of producing. Course work includes written and oral assignments, in-class presentations, assignments based on invited industry guests, and in-class final presentations. Conference work ranges from in-depth case studies to producing other students’ work. Upon completing the course, students will have an extensive understanding of the business of film and television, as well as a further understanding of the producer's role from creative development to final delivery.

Faculty
Related Cross-Discipline Paths

Previous courses

Producing for the Screen: A Real World Guide, Part 1

Fall

Producers are credited on every film, television, and media project made. Producers are crucial—even seminal—to each and every production, no matter how big or small. Yet, even as a pivotal position in the creative and practical process of making a film, TV show, or media project, the title “producer” is perhaps the least understood of all the collaborators involved. What is a producer? This course answers and demystifies that question, examining what a producer actually does in the creation of screen-based media and the many hats one (or a small army of producers) may wear at any given time. Students will explore the role of the producer in the filmmaking, television, and video process from the moment of creative inspiration through project development, proposal writing, financing, physical production—indeed, down to the nuts-and-bolts aspects of script breakdown, budgeting, scheduling, and delivering a film, TV, or video project. Students will gain hands-on experience in developing projects, breaking them down into production elements, and crafting schedules and budgets, as well as learning pitching skills and packaging strategies. Course work includes: logline, synopsis, and treatment writing; script breakdown, budgeting and scheduling; pitching, and final project presentation. Conference projects may include producing a film or media project by a student in another filmmaking production class at Sarah Lawrence College, a case study of several films from the producer perspective, the development and preproduction of a proposed future “virtual” film or video project, and the like. A practical course in the ways and means of producing, the class will consider the current state of producing through nuts-and-bolts production software and exercises, verbal and written assignments, and industry guests currently working in film and television. Designed to provide real-world producing guidance, the course offers filmmakers and screenwriters a window into the importance of—and mechanics pertaining to—the producing discipline, along with a practical skill set for seeking work in the filmmaking and media-making world after Sarah Lawrence College.

Faculty

Producing for the Screen: A Real World Guide, Part I

Fall

Producers are credited on every film, television, and media project made. They are crucial—even seminal—to each and every production no matter how big or small. Yet, even as a pivotal position in the creative and practical process of making a film, TV show, or media project, the title “producer” is perhaps the least understood of all the collaborators involved. What is a producer? This course answers that question, examining what a producer actually does in the creation of screen-based media and the many hats one, or a small army of producers, may wear at any given time. Students will explore the role of the producer in the filmmaking, television, and video process from the moment of creative inspiration through project development and proposal writing, financing, physical production—indeed, down to the nuts-and-bolts aspects of script breakdown, budgeting, scheduling, and delivering a film, TV, or video project. Students will gain hands-on experience in developing projects, breaking them down into production elements, and crafting schedules and budgets, as well as learn pitching skills and packaging strategies. Course work includes proposal and treatment writing, script breakdown, scheduling and budgeting, pitching, and final project presentation. Conference projects may include the producing of a film or media project by a student in another filmmaking production class at Sarah Lawrence College, a case study of several films from the producer perspective, the development and preproduction of a proposed future “virtual” film or video project, and the like. A practical course in the ways and means of producing, the class will consider the current state of producing through case studies, nuts-and-bolts production software and exercises, and guest producers, directors, actors, and industry professionals currently working in film and television. Designed to provide real-world producing guidance, the course provides filmmakers and screenwriters with a window on the importance of, and the mechanics pertaining to, the producing discipline and a practical skill set for seeking work in the filmmaking and media-making world after Sarah Lawrence College.

Faculty

Producing for the Screen: A Real World Guide, Part II

Spring

Building on the course work and experiences associated with Part I of this course, students continue to explore the role of the producer from the moment of creative inspiration through project development, log line, treatment and proposal writing, financing, physical production—indeed, down to the nuts-and-bolts aspects of script breakdown, budgeting, scheduling, and delivering a film, television, or video project to a network or distributor. Students apply knowledge and skills from Part l to focus on gaining a deeper knowledge of best producing practices, entertainment law, producing dos and don’ts, traditional and innovative financing models, domestic and foreign film and television markets, daily industry trends, film and television sizzle and trailer production, pitching skills, film marketing and publicity, distribution strategies, navigating the festival circuit—and working with lawyers, agents, managers and sales agents and deciphering the business, psychological, and human elements of producing. Course work includes written and oral assignments, presentations, and assignments based on invited filmmakers and industry guests. Conference projects may include producing a film or media project by a student in another filmmaking production class at Sarah Lawrence, a case study or body of work analysis from the producer perspective, or the development and preproduction of a proposed future “virtual” film or video project.

Faculty

Producing For The Screen: A Real World Guide, Part II

Spring

Building on Producing for the Screen: A Real World Guide, Part l, students will expand their knowledge of the role of the producer in the realm of filmmaking, television, and video—especially as it relates to the ongoing creative process. Diving deeper into the real-world application of the producer’s role and applying knowledge and skills from Part l, course work includes best producing practices, script coverage, entertainment law, producing dos and don’ts, traditional and innovative financing models, domestic and foreign film and television markets, daily industry trends, sizzle reel and trailer analysis, fine-tuning pitching skills, film marketing and publicity, examining the distribution process and release strategies, navigating the festival circuit, understanding the roles of lawyers, agents, managers, and sales agents, and deciphering the intersection of art and commerce as it relates to the business and human elements of producing. Course work includes written and oral assignments, presentations, assignments based on invited industry guests, and in-class final presentations. Conference work ranges from in-depth case studies to producing other students’ projects. Upon completing the course, students will have an extensive understanding of the producer’s role from creative development to final delivery.

Faculty

Producing Independent Film, TV and Video: A Real World Guide I

Fall

Producers are credited on every film, television and media project made. They are crucial—even seminal—to each and every production, no matter how big or small. Yet, even as a pivotal position in the creative and practical process of making a film, TV show or media project, the title, “Producer” is perhaps the least understood of all the collaborators involved. What is a producer? This course answers that question, examining what a producer actually does in the creation of screen-based media and the many hats one, or a small army of producers may wear at any given time. Students will explore the role of the producer in the filmmaking, television and video process, from the moment of creative inspiration, through project development and proposal writing, financing, physical production (indeed, down to the nuts-and-bolts aspects of script breakdown, budgeting, scheduling, and delivering a film, TV or video project), marketing, navigating the film festival gauntlet, as well as drilling down into the distribution process & strategies. A practical course in the ways and means of producing, the class will consider the history and current state of producing through case studies, nuts and bolts production software and exercises, and guest producers, directors, actors, and industry professionals currently working in film, television, and video. Students will gain hands-on experience in developing projects, breaking them down into production elements, crafting schedules and budgets, as well as learn pitching skills and packaging strategies. Course work includes proposal and treatment writing, script breakdown, scheduling and budgeting, pitching, and final project presentation. Conference projects may include the producing of a film or media project by a student in another filmmaking production class at SLC, a case study of several films from the producer perspective, the development and pre-production of a proposed future “virtual” film or video project, and the like. Designed to provide real world producing guidance and experience where anything can -- and will – happen, the course provides filmmakers and screenwriters with a window on the importance of and mechanics pertaining to the producing discipline and a practical skill set for seeking work in the filmmaking and media making world after SLC.

Faculty

Producing Independent Film, TV and Video: A Real World Guide II

Spring

Building on “Producing Independent Film, TV and Video – A Real-World Guide l,” students expand their knowledge of the role of the producer in the realm of filmmaking, television and video, especially as it relates to the ongoing creative process. Diving deeper into the real world application of the producer’s role, and applying knowledge and skills from Part l, course work includes case study presentations of US and international producers and their bodies of work, fine tuning individual pitching skills, sizzle reel and trailer analysis, script coverage, box office analysis, navigating the film festival maze, understanding the roles of agents, lawyers and managers, examining the distribution process and release strategies, field trips, industry guests, positioning yourself for real world opportunities, learning "people" skills, and in-class final presentations. Conference work ranges from in-depth case studies to producing other students’ projects. Upon completing the course, students will have a complete understanding of the producer's role from creative development to final delivery.

Faculty